Evans Funeral Home

"Compassionate Funeral Service"

Carrington and New Rockford, North Dakota
701.652.3003 or 701.947.2911

Secondary Number ~ 701.650.9937

Derald Connell

Derald Connell, Kensal, ND, 86, died November 12, 2020, in Jamestown, ND from complications of COVID 19. Derald was born in Jamestown, August 23, 1934 to Raymond and Sylvia (Frownfelter) Connell. He grew up on the family farm west of Kensal, attending rural elementary school and Kensal High School, graduating in 1952. He played amateur baseball for Bordulac, ND and West Fargo, ND.  In 1953 he married Phillis Edinger of Carrington, ND. They had four children, Mike, Terri, Tim and Patricia. They divorced in 1969. Derald married Karen (Gast) Rutherford in 1972. They had two children, Doug and Duane.

Other than two years in West Fargo, Derald lived his entire life in Kensal, working as a mechanic and also part-time maintaining Kensal public utilities. It was commonplace for him to get called out of bed in the middle of the night to help someone who had run out of gas, whose car wouldn’t start or who was stuck in the snow. Over the years he was called on to repair everything from sewing machines to Soo Line locomotives. He was a master of the art of “rigging” a machine to get it working, often without regard to aesthetics.

Derald served on the Kensal City Council, Kensal Reunion Board, Kensal Café Board as well as the Kensal Fire Chief. In the 1970s he worked to bring stock car racing to Kensal and was president of the Kensal Racing Association.

Derald enjoyed cars provided they were Buicks and stock car racing, deer hunting, auctions, Minnesota Twins baseball, Minnesota Vikings football and reading the green section of the Fargo Forum. He believed nearly every Kensal basketball and Minnesota Vikings football lose was the result of poor officiating and had a general distrust of politicians and doctors.

He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Karen, six children, Mike (Joni) Connell, Fargo,  ND, Terri Busch, Fargo, ND, Tim Connell, Cheyenne, WY, Patricia Connell (Will Gilchrest), Dilworth, MN, Doug Connell, Kensal, and Duane Connell, Grand Forks, ND. Three step sons, Keith (Connie) Rutherford, Erhard, MN, Kevin Rutherford, Jamestown and Danny (Lynn) Rutherford, Jamestown. 13 grandchildren, 8 step grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, infant daughter, brother Leroy, step-son Kenneth Rutherford and an infant great-grand daughter.

Visitation will be Saturday, April 24, 2021 from 12:00PM-1:00PM followed by a Funeral Service at 1:00PM all at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Kensal, ND.

Burial will be at the Kensal Cemetery, Kensal, ND.

Posted Condolences:


  1. Our condolences to you all. May you find comfort in your memories. Brent has been telling me some of his with Derald.

    Susan & Brent Nogosek

  2. My sincere sympathy to the entire Connell family.

  3. Very sorry for your loss to the Connell and Rutherford families..

  4. Our sympathy to all of you. Derald was such a quiet, helpful leader. His obituary captures the essence of Derald. May you know comfort of precious memories. Claire Vigesaa

  5. My sincere sympathy to the Connelly family. Sorry for your loss.

  6. Mike, Terri & Family your dad was a great man who could do anything and helped everyone.
    He helped kick start baseball in Kensal during the 60’s. He raised his kids and they became
    successful and worked hard as anybody I know. He will be missed by family and all the
    people he helped. May God bless Derald and help the family during this time.

  7. My heart-felt sympathies go out to Derald’s family. May your memories give you peace and comfort. Though Derald and my sister parted company, our family always continued to lovingly consider him part of our extended family. He was always a very special person in my life. In the summer of 1960, at the young age of 11 years old, he let me start driving tractor, digging summer fallow, on the family farm – some very special years they were. R.I.P. Derald

  8. So sorry for your loss. Sending prayers

  9. Sorry to hear of Deralds passing. Echoing the thoughts of my Uncle Rick. Long after Aunt Phillis and Deralds divorce, my dad Richard and mom , Kay. (Phillis’s sister), spoke fondly of Derald. Mom often talked about Derald and what a good guy he was and regarded him to be another brother to her in the family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mike, Tim, Terri, Pat and the entire Connell family.

  10. You are in our thoughts and prayers during this time. Derald was always willing to help Jim remember. May your memories give you peace.J

  11. Our sympathies to all of Derald’s family. My earliest and some of my fondest memories go back to the Connell family then our closest neighbors. You shared your dad with Kensal as he kept all of our cars and farm machinery running! Thanks!
    May the peace of knowing he is now with Jesus comfort you.
    Steve and Darlene Turner


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